Thursday, June 18, 2009


Some days, I think the best thing about China is my ayi. My ayi, who called in sick for the first time ever today. This fact made for a not-so-good China day. I was home with all of the kids, and the air was unbelievably filthy. As in, "don't set one nostril outside if you can avoid it" filthy. I let Kyra go out to ride her bike for 10 minutes, but the air had the look and smell of a forest fire. And we're nowhere near a forest. So I made her come in. And we stayed in with the air filters cranking for the rest of the day.

I just looked up the air quality report for the day, and it turns out we hit 500 today. In the U.S., an air quality reading of 0-50 is good. 51-100 is moderate. With a reading of 101-150, children should "reduce prolonged or heavy exertion." At 151-200, "everyone" should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. At 201-300: "children should avoid all physical activity outdoors."

In the U.S., the chart doesn't even go past 300. And on an average day, there are very few cities that get above 50. If you look right now, for example, you'll find that nowhere in the U.S. is there a reading of above 100.

So now, let me repeat: today in Beijing, we were at 500.

My throat hurts. Ainsley is coughing. Kyra is coughing. The boys seems okay for now.

Sometimes, I think we won't be able to escape this place soon enough.


Erin G said... [Reply]

yikes. hang in there. and try not to breathe.

Kelsey said... [Reply]

Wow. That is incredible!

Despite the fact that I used to live on an island where 98% of the time the air was clean and clear, one day during the "yellow dust days" we did hit 400-something. Here are some photos I took from my apartment window:

Please. Write your own stuff.